Paediatric care in relation to the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak and general reporting of deaths in Sierra Leone

Ebola outbreak was associated with reduced health services use, and appears to have triggered a measles epidemic

Abstract

Setting

All peripheral health units countrywide in Sierra Leone and one hospital in Port Loko

Objectives

Sierra Leone was severely affected by the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak, whose impact on paediatric care and mortality reports merits assessment. The authors sought to compare the periods before, during and after the Ebola outbreak, the countrywide trend in morbidities in children aged < 5 years and exit outcomes in one district hospital (Port Loko). During the Ebola outbreak period, gaps in district death reporting within the routine Health Management Information System (HMIS) were compared with the Safe and Dignified Burials (SDB) database in Port Loko.

Design

This was a retrospective records analysis

Conclusion

The Ebola disease outbreak was associated with reduced utilisation of health services, and appears to have triggered a measles epidemic. Almost 70% of deaths were missed by the HMIS during the Ebola outbreak period. These findings could guide health system responses in future outbreaks.

This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)

Citation

Sesay T, Denisiuk O, Shringarpure KK, Wurie BS, George P, Sesay MI, Zachariah R. Paediatric care in relation to the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak and general reporting of deaths in Sierra Leone. Public Health Action. 2017;7(1):34–9.

Paediatric care in relation to the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak and general reporting of deaths in Sierra Leone

Published 21 June 2017